The NBA regular season is coming to a close, but that just means the excitement is only getting started, as the playoffs will be getting underway on April 19. If you’ll be traveling or spending your time out on the go, there’s no reason you can’t watch the games from your iPhone and iPad, as there are a few options available.
Perhaps the most common streaming option for iOS devices is NBA League Pass, which lets you stay up to date on news, stats, and scores, as well as stream all the games live on your iPhone or iPad for a one-time fee that lasts you the entire season.
NBA League Pass works through the NBA Game Time app for iPhone and iPad, which is a free download and also where you’ll upgrade to a NBA League Pass for just $16.99 for the entire playoffs. Normally, you’d have to pay $55 for mobile access for the entire season, but late-comers can get a special discount for the playoffs only, which is nice. Plus, you can get a free trial for April 19-20 to see if the subscription is something you’d want to pay for.
Better yet, if you’re a Sprint customer, you can get 20% knocked off the price, meaning that you’ll only have to pay $13.59 for complete access to all NBA playoff games, which is quite the steal. Unfortunately, that special price is only for iPhone (and Android phones). Tablets are left out for some unknown reason, so this means that you’ll have to cough up more cash for NBA League Pass Broadband if you want to watch games on your iPad. However, we’ve had a reader mention in the past that the Mobile package works just fine on the iPad, so keep this in mind.
With NBA League Pass, you’ll be able to watch all of the playoff games live, although local blackout restrictions apply, so you won’t be able to watch your home team unless you’re in a location outside of the blackout area. However, we have a guide on bypassing blackout restrictions for MLB’s version of League Pass, so it’s possible you can try it with the NBA app.
Nonetheless, the NBA Game Time app still offers everything you would need without the live streaming, including scores, schedules, stats, highlights, replays and more. You’ll be able to see when playoff games begin so that you won’t miss one, although we’d recommend setting yourself a reminder for when it’s game time. All of this is free to begin with, so you’re merely just paying for the live streaming of playoff games.
NBA League Pass works on WiFi connections, as well as 3G or 4G LTE data networks, although you’ll have to be careful about signal strength since the live stream will need a solid connection in order to get the best quality. Furthermore, users who aren’t on an unlimited data plan (which is most users) will want to be careful about streaming live NBA games on a data connection, as it will drain your bank of available data in no time flat.
If you have a cable subscription with Comcast, Cox, Dish Network, Google Fiber, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS and others, you can stream NBA games using the WatchESPN app. It’s a free download and you don’t have to pay extra to watch live games, which is a nice bonus. Of course, you can also get mobile access to NBA League Pass for free if you have a cable subscription as well, so be sure to take advantage of this before you automatically buy League Pass without during the research.
Granted, if you have cable, you most likely have all the NBA games you need, but the mobile app is still a good option to have if you ever find that you’re away from home during a playoff game, and not all cable plans are created equal, so you might not have the right channel for a vital playoff game. This is where mobile streaming options come in handy.
If you’d rather watch NBA games on your TV and you don’t have a cable subscription, you could get an Apple TV or a Roku streaming box, or if you have an Xbox or PlayStation, you can also stream NBA games on those devices as well. Granted, you’ll need to pay the full price for the aforementioned NBA League Pass Broadband, since these aren’t mobile devices, but it’ll give you the opportunity watch live games on your TV without needing a cable subscription.
Seeing that live sports is the biggest con of cutting the cord and quitting cable, users want access to live games without having to pay for a cable subscription, and NBA League Pass makes it possible. Granted, it can be a bit expensive, but it’s certainly not as much as you’d pay for a full year of cable.